The Evolution of Substation Security Walls
In days gone by, substations were typically located on the outskirts of populated areas and surrounded by chain link fence. As development expanded, many of the substations that were originally on the periphery, found themselves now in the heart of communities and surrounded by residential, industrial and commercial development.
To shield the substation infrastructure from view, oftentimes colored plastic slats were inserted in the chain link fence to block off the line of sight. Substation walls in populated areas began to transition to masonry to hide equipment in some cases. But as prices of copper increased, it rapidly became the target of thieves.
To further mitigate theft and vandalism, and maintain safety, substation perimeters have increasingly adopted more solid perimeter walls such as block or precast concrete, as opposed to chain link fence, traditionally used on most substations, which can easily penetrated by cutting through the material. The primary reason for using precast concrete walls, is that they provide higher security, install fast and offer decorative finishes. Additionally, when taller walls are required, precast concrete security walls tend to be less expensive to build than CMU walls, since continuous foundations are not required, thus reducing costs. A taller wall also increases the level of security against, line of sight, thieves and break-ins.